Little Tragedies, Porceline Pavilion (Boheme) This is another prog release from the marvelous Boheme label - meaning, of course, that this is NOT just another prog release, but an fascinating find from the largely unknown body of Russian progressive music. Little Tragedies are the most recent prog-rock group I've seen on the label, the album was recorded in '99, so it's probably not even a reissue. But regardless, it's a nice companion piece to all the other wonderful albums I've heard from the label, very comparable in quality and more loosely related in style. Although Little Tragedies claim to not be a prog rock band per se, but just a band that melds various genres, they seem to be the most straightforward prog-rock of all the Boheme releases. But that's not a bad thing. One of the main factors, I think, is their heavy reliance on analog synths, which sound marvelous throughout. In fact, since the band is basically a duo of guitar and keyboards (with the keyboardist handling the vocals), the keyboards make up most of the sound most of the time. In some cases this would be unbearable, but the keyboardist uses such a wide variety of excellent timbres it never gets monotonous. The compositions are generally top-notch as well. They have a certain delicacy and power that once again reminds me a little of Italian bands. And of course, like most Russian prog bands, they have their classical harmonies down and make good and effortless use of them. Also, there are some wonderful sweeping symphonic Genesis-like themes (especially the one introduced at the beginning and subsequently reprised throughout the album). Basically, if you like powerful, sweeping compositions, analog synths, and strong vocals, you'll probably like this album. Yet another winner from Boheme! (sheesh, they need to win some award) ~Jon Dharma Murphree~, EER-MUSIC.com
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